"A car stopped in front of the house."
I think 'とまった' is accepted, too. 'とまって' is a bit different. the last letter 'て'.
I think 車が止まりました emphasizes the action of the car stopping there, while 止まっています describes the status of the car stopped there.
This is confusing. The previous examples with とまり had で while this example has に.. can anyone help me understand?
Why do we need "ni" here? "ie no mae" already means "in front of the house" and "kuruma ga tomari mashita" stands for "a car has stopped". So what does that "ni" do?
いえの前 does not mean 'in front of the house'. It simply means 'the front of the house'. You need に to define it as a destination (as opposed to an object or something else).
'に' is like 'at' here. "ie no mae" means just the location. "に" decides the role of the word.